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Devin Haney vs. Zaur Abdullaev: An Early Preview

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On September 13, one of boxing‘s most exciting prospects returns to the ring. Searching to accelerate his career exponentially, Devin “The Dream” Haney (22-0, 14 KO) will clash with title contender Zaur Abdullaev (11-0) in both fighters’ debut at Madison Square Garden.

Devin Haney has been on a fast track to greatness, fighting in this upcoming title eliminator at the young age of 20.

Though The Dream is young, do not take that to mean he is inexperienced. Haney has been a pro less than four years and has already garnered 22 victories, 16 of which have come in the two year span between 2017 and 2018.

The California native has followed the ways of many old school fighters, staying busy and fighting as often as possible.

Zaur Abdullaev, by comparison, has had a career nearly the exact opposite. The 25 year old hailing from Russia has fought half as many times as his American opponent.

Though he only has half as much pro experience, Abdullaev has looked impressive against increasingly tough opposition. The Russian’s most notable victory thus far came against former contender Hank Lundy, a crafty fighter who has faced top competition like Viktor Postol, Mauricio Herrera and Terence Crawford.

Resumes aside, the fight tends to look even more interesting when the two fighters’ styles are put side by side.

Haney is an exciting boxer in the ring who uses his dazzling speed to offset his opponent’s attack whilst utilizing his high ring IQ and constant changing of angles to work his way around their defense.

Though Haney is not known for his power, he showed that he possesses that one-punch power in his most recent fight with Antonio Moran, knocking Moran unconscious with a devastating overhand right.

Abdullaev, much like the two fighter’s careers, is stylistically very much the opposite of Haney. Abdullaev fights with the trademarked Eastern European style.

He is often bullying his opponent back against the ropes, coming from straight ahead. His style allows for very little finesse, as he relies primarily on applying suffocating pressure and firing off numerous power shots.

The biggest critique for Abdullaev’s style is his reluctance to throw any punches unless he has his opponent backed against the ropes. In a fight with someone who turns fighters around as seamlessly as Haney does, this could make for a long night for the Russian.

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